Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
These teaching notes are part of a study from II Kings that address the need for committed men and women of God in the Church today.
[These notes are from a Bible study taught more than 40 years ago. The notes are in outline form.]
“And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.” II Kings 4:8-9
The most needed person in the Church today is a man or woman of God.
This “great’ woman was probably a very influential woman in her community. She watched Elisha day after day as he went about working in the service of the Lord; much like scores of unsaved people in this community watch us day after day as we go about our lives at home, work and play.
This woman said of Elisha – “I perceive that this is an holy man of God.” What do people say about us day after day? Would our co-workers, friends, and neighbors say of us, “I perceive that this is an holy man or woman of God?”
The Church is in desperate condition today and in great need of revival. The Church needs to be brought back to life and the ones to bring revival are those who are “men and women of God!”
I believe there are three basic reasons why there are so few men and women of God in the Church today:
The first step to practical holiness is freedom from all guide and hypocrisy (John 1:47). How many would say, “There has been a time or times in my life when I tried to give a better impression of myself to others than was really the cause”? This is guile. Guile will hinder our prayers, genuine revival from God, and fellowship with other Christians.
Hypocrisy is one of the major reasons that millions of people are kept away from the Church. Beneath an outward facade of spirituality by church members are slimy pits of evil.
Turn to Luke 12: 1 – “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”
Turn to Titus 1:15-16 – “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”
Turn to 1 John 3:18 – “ My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
Let me give you one example of God’s response to guile among His children –
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.” Acts 5:1-11
Can the Lord say of us, “Behold a man or woman indeed in whom is no guile”?
Lack of Discipline
The second reason for the lack of holiness in our churches is a lack of discipline.
- Matthew 5:29 – Amplified Version
- Romans 6:6 – Amplified Version
- Romans 8:13 – Amplified Version
- Romans 13:14 – Amplified Version
- Galatians 5:26 – Amplified Version
- Colossians 3:5-14 – Amplified Version
- 1 Peter 4:1-2 – Amplified Version
We must discipline our eyes to what they look at and read. The psalmist prayed, “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity.”
We must discipline our ears to listen to the right kind of conversations and music. We must be attuned to God’s voice and away from gossip and slander.
We must control our tongues to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle James wrote, “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell…and if any offend not in word, the same is a mature man, and able to bridle the whole body.”
A third reason for the general lack of godly men and women in the Church is the fact that we do not spend time alone with the Holy One. No man or woman can be holy and godly unless they determine that the most important thing in life is to spend time with God.
Sometimes we are so busy for God that we do not have enough time to spend with God. Our carnal minds and desires stem invariably from the fact that we spend too little time in the presence of God and too much time in the presence of the television set.
A great man of God once said, “We must know what it is to wait long hours in God’s presence seeing His glory, hearing His voice, and being transformed into His likeness.”
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 40 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you, your family and your ministry.]